Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine News: Pfizer has reported that its Covid-19 vaccine, BNT162b2, has been more than 90% effective in late-stage trials.
US drug-maker company Pfizer has released introductory data from late-stage human trials of the Covid-19 vaccine it developed with German biotech firm BioNTech.
Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine News: 90% effective in late-stage trials
The vaccine has found more than 90% effective. The detection are critical as the vaccine is headed for a review by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later this month, and talks of the shot receiving emergency authorisation are closer to reality.
What type of vaccine have Pfizer and BioNTech developed?
This is a vaccine that was developed using mRNA technology — it makes use of the messenger RNA molecules that tell cells what proteins to build. The mRNA, in this case, is coded to tell the cells to recreate the spike protein of the novel coronavirus.
Once the mRNA is injected into the body, the cells will use its instructions, creating copies of the spike protein, which is in return expected to prompt the immune cells to create antibodies to fight it.
Unlike several other vaccine candidates, mRNA vaccines are synthetically developed — they do not need the virus to be cultivated and replicated, just the code for the most crucial part that the body’s immune system is to target. Another advantage is that they can be manufactured at a large scale in large vats called bioreactors.
These are platforms that can work “on demand”, said an Indian vaccine maker who spoke to The Indian Express on condition of anonymity. After getting the code for the virus, it is possible to develop the vaccine within weeks for pre-clinical testing, compared with months taken for more traditional platforms.
What do the early results say?
The company’s first interim efficacy analysis signals that the vaccine is able to demonstrate an effectiveness against Covid-19. According to the findings, the vaccine was “more than” 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 among participants who had received a second dose as opposed to those participants who had only received a placebo.
The firm also said that analysis of the late-stage trial data showed that there were no serious safety concerns.
Considering that the US FDA as well as several international regulators and health organisations have suggested that a Covid-19 vaccine has to be able to protect at least 50% of those receiving it, the findings in Pfizer and BioNTech’s case seem promising.
“The results demonstrate that our mRNA-based vaccine can help prevent Covid-19 in the majority of people who receive it. This means we are one step closer to potentially providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global pandemic,” said Albert Bourla, CEO, Pfizer, in a statement upon the release of the results.
“This is a first but critical step as we continue our work to deliver a safe and effective vaccine,” Bourla said.
The phase 3 trials of this vaccine candidate — BNT162b2 — began on July 27 and has so far enrolled 43,538 participants, 38,955 of whom had received a second dose as of November 8.